EU plans military mission to migrant boats in Libya

European Union leaders aim to dismantle criminal networks and destroy boats used by migrant smugglers in Libya.

EU plans military mission to migrant boats in Libya

World Bulletin / News Desk 

European Union defense and foreign ministers are expected Monday to push for a naval mission to stop Libyan smugglers from taking migrants on a perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

The ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday to approve the mission which aims to dismantle criminal networks and destroy the boats in which they are smuggling people in war-torn Libya.

"We need to agree (on) action today to get after the criminal gangs and to disrupt the trafficking networks. That means gathering much more intelligence on how these networks are organized and helping the countries the migrants come from," British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told reporters in Brussels ahead of Monday’s meeting.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also told reporters in Brussels ahead of the meeting: "I would expect this decision to be taken today so we can move forward with planning and possibly launch the operation in the coming weeks."

"Once we adopt the decision to establish the operation today, it would provide more urgency and more clarity for the drafting exercise of the Security Council resolution," Mogherini said.

The EU naval mission needs UN authorization to proceed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the use of force to restore international peace and security under specific conditions.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels ahead of the meeting that it is important to work with partners in the Middle East and North Africa because of the danger of foreign fighters attempting to join extremist groups.

"There might be foreign fighters also trying to hide and blend in among the migrants. This just underlines the importance of our response to this turmoil," Stoltenberg said.

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2015, 14:09
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